Lisa Murkowski wins rare write-in victory in Alaska Senate race
Ballots from the Alaska Senate election are nearly counted, and Lisa Murkowski is the clear winner. A lawsuit filed by Joe Miller contests some of the ballots, but the lawsuit will likely amount to nothing. Murkowski already has a clear lead and will take the Alaska Senate seat.
Lisa Murkowksi’s write-in victory a rare occurrence
There are a few ballots still to be counted, but Lisa Murkowski has emerged the clear winner of the Alaska Senate election, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Joe Miller campaign has not conceded the election and, despite a promise to do so if the Alaska vote count swung Murkowski’s way, may keep contesting it. Miller has already filed a federal lawsuit disputing about 8,000 ballots, and especially interpretations of those ballots. However, the lawsuit might be a moot point, as Murkowski has a lead of nearly 10,000 votes. Even if all the votes that Miller contests are thrown out, any lead whatsoever by Murkowski seals his fate as the also-ran.
Tea Party ‘refudiated’ in Palin’s home state
As of this morning, Murkowski had a lead of at least 2,000 votes, not counting the 8,000 contested ones. An official count has to be declared before Miller can request a recount. Unless Murkowski is completely disqualified, Alaska voters have “refudiated” a Sarah Palin-backed candidate in her home state. The defeat of Joe Miller, heavily backed by the Tea Party Express and by Sarah Palin, is a high-profile slap in the face to the Tea Party and also to Palin, who feuded with Lisa Murkowski and her father, who was ousted by Palin in the Republican primary before the Alaska gubernatorial race in 2006. Palin left the post halfway through her term.
Murkowksi is the first write-in candidate to win a Senate election in 56 years. The last candidate to do so was Strom Thurmond in 1954. However, the lawsuit and any requested recount may postpone her taking her seat for some time.